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Student Health Requirements

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Good health allows Iowa students to focus on learning and sets them up for success. To support healthy students, the Iowa Department of Public Health has established health requirements for enrollment in specific grade levels.

In Iowa, four health screening programs – immunization, dental, vision and lead – are regulated by the state and implemented by schools. School nurses are a key resource in ensuring families and schools fulfill the requirements by providing information and assistance.

Iowa Student Health Requirements Handout

Requirements by Grade Level

Voluntary Preschool

Health Screening Required for Families Required for Schools
Immunizations An approved certificate from IDPH is required to enroll. Families need to submit a copy of their child’s record to the school.

School nurses review records and may issue provisional certificates in collaboration with their local public health department to audit the process.

Children are not allowed to enroll without providing a certificate.

Provisionals that expire without receipt of a valid certificate from parents require school administration officials to exclude the learner.

Student Vision Card Schools will provide a Student Vision Card to all registering preschool learners.

Schools are required to provide the Student Vision Card to all enrolling preschoolers.

Vision cards can be ordered from the Iowa Optometric Association.

Kindergarten

Health Screening Required for Families Required for Schools
Immunizations An approved certificate from IDPH is required to enroll. Families need to submit a copy of their child’s record to the school.

School nurses review records and may issue provisional certificates in collaboration with their local public health department to audit the process.

Children are not allowed to enroll without providing a certificate.

Provisionals that expire without receipt of a valid certificate from parents require school administration officials to exclude the learner.

Dental Screening

The screening must occur no earlier than age 3 and no later than four months after enrollment.

A licensed dentist, dental hygienist, physician, physician assistant, RN or ARNP can complete the screening. 

The screening must use the IDPH Certificate of Dental Screening.

School nurses will collect dental screening information and provide information to I-Smile Coordinators who are conducting the audit process for compliance. 

There is no school exclusion for this requirement.

Blood Lead Screening

All children are required to have at least one lead test. There is no need for parents to  provide this health record to your child’s school

Schools will inform parents of children who need to be tested.

Schools will collect demographic information in a spreadsheet and provide it to the Iowa Department of Public Health. 

Schools do not need to collect results of blood lead testing. 

IDPH compares statewide lead data with the demographic information to see which children need a blood lead test. 

Schools inform parents if their child needs a test. 

IDPH audits the number of referrals and number of completed tests.

Vision Screening

All children are required to have a vision screening no earlier than 1 year prior and no later than six months after enrollment. 

An ophthalmologist, pediatrician, physician or professional licensed for this test can perform the screening.

Schools are required to provide the Student Vision Card to all enrolling parents or guardians. 

Vision cards can be ordered from the Iowa Optometric Association.

School nurses may enter the screening results in IRIS to provide proof of compliance by school.

3rd Grade

Health Screening Required for Families Required for Schools
Vision Screening

All students must have a vision screening no earlier than 1 year prior to enrollment and no more than 6 months after. 

An ophthalmologist, pediatrician, physician or professional licensed for this test can perform the screening.  

Schools will provide vision screenings for families.

School nurses can collaborate with community providers or conduct the vision screenings directly. 

School nurses may enter the screening results in IRIS to provide proof of compliance by the school.

7th Grade

Health Screening Required for Families Required for Schools
Immunizations Students entering 7th grade are required to have one dose of the following vaccines: 
  • Tdap – Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis
  • Meningococcal Conjugate

There is no provisional period to implement this requirement. 

Students without receipt of a valid certificate from parents require school administration officials to exclude the student.

9th Grade

Health Screening Required for Families Required for Schools
Dental Screening

All students entering 9th grade are required to have a dental screening. 

A licensed dentist or dental hygienist can perform the screening. 

The screening must use the IDPH Certificate of Dental Screening.

School nurses will collect dental screening information and provide information to I-Smile Coordinators who are conducting the audit process for compliance. 

There is no school exclusion for this requirement.

12th Grade

Health Screening Required for Families Required for Schools
Immunization Students entering 12th grade born on or after September 15, 1999, are required to have two doses of the Meningococcal Conjugate vaccine (or one dose if a previous dose was received when the student was 16 years old or older).

There is no provisional period to implement this requirement if the student has received no meningococcal conjugate vaccine.

Students without receipt of a valid certificate from parents require school administration officials to exclude the student.

Provisionals that expire without receipt of a certificate from parents require school administration officials to exclude the student.